Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can significantly impact a person’s life by causing intense changes in mood and energy level. Periods of uncharacteristic behaviors, or episodes, can occur unexpectedly and disrupt many aspects of a person’s daily life, such as their activity level and ability to focus. Due to the unpredictable nature of bipolar disorder, it can leave a person feeling powerless over their behavior and mental well-being.
At Signature Psychiatric Hospital, which has locations in North Kansas City and Liberty, Missouri, we can help people who are battling bipolar disorder learn how to manage their symptoms and regain a sense of control. We understand that no two experiences with bipolar disorder are the same, and we create customized treatment plans to meet each person’s unique needs.
Common Causes of & Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder
Though exact causes of bipolar disorder are undetermined, many experts agree that certain factors might play into a person’s chances of having the disorder. Current research surrounding causes of and risk factors for bipolar disorder reveals that genetics and brain structure may lead to increased risk for developing the disorder.
Studies comparing brain function suggest that there may be differences between the brains of people who have bipolar disorder and those of people who do not.
Signs & Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
To diagnose the specific type of bipolar disorder a person has, a mental health professional will evaluate the symptoms they are experiencing.
Three common types of bipolar disorder are:
- Bipolar I disorder: A person may receive a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder if they have experienced at least one manic episode and a major depressive episode or an episode of hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania.
- Bipolar II disorder: To be diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, a person must have experienced depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes.
- Cyclothymic disorder: A person who experiences symptoms of depression and hypomania for at least two years may receive a diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder. People who have this type of bipolar disorder do not experience depressive, hypomanic, or manic episodes.
Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder vary depending on the type of bipolar disorder a person is suffering from. Symptoms may be characteristic of several types of episodes, including manic, hypomanic, and major depressive.
Symptoms of a manic or hypomanic episode can include:
- Decreased need for sleep
- Significant increase in energy
- Feelings of elation or irritability
- Dramatic increase in confidence level
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid speech
- Racing thoughts
- Risky decision-making or poor judgment
- Inability to concentrate on one topic
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
- Continuous fatigue or tiredness
- Feelings of hopelessness or intense sadness
- Weight gain or increased appetite
- Trouble communicating thoughts
- Lack of focus
- Inability to make decisions
- Significant loss of interest in activities
- Frequent thoughts of suicide or death
If you are experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to seek the help of a professional to determine if treatment is needed.
Effects of Bipolar Disorder
If left untreated, bipolar disorder can negatively affect social, behavioral, and physical aspects of a person’s life. Common effects of bipolar disorder may include:
- Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones, peers, and colleagues
- Inability to progress at work or in school
- Health concerns
- Physical harm as a result of reckless behavior
- Inability to find or maintain a job
- Substance use and addiction
- Legal trouble as a result of poor decision-making
- Co-occurring mental health concerns
- Loss of interest in social activities
- Suicidal ideation
Beginning treatment early can help minimize the negative effects of bipolar disorder. At Signature Psychiatric Hospital, we can help you learn to manage your symptoms, restore your confidence, and find healing.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Bipolar disorder is prevalent among many demographic groups and ages and affects people of all genders.
According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), people can develop bipolar disorder well into their 40s and 50s; however, the median age for bipolar disorder onset is 25 years.
To put the prevalence of the disorder into perspective, a statistic from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that bipolar disorder affects 2.7% of the United States adult population, or an estimated 7 million people, annually.
Benefits of Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Living with bipolar disorder can feel isolating, and facing challenges without the help of qualified professionals can leave you feeling overwhelmed. By getting treatment for bipolar disorder, you can learn to manage your symptoms and start living a happier, more fulfilling life.
In addition to medication and therapies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends building simple, daily habits that can help you manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. Recommendations include:
- Developing a routine you can perform consistently
- Tracking your mood changes in a journal to monitor patterns and triggers
- Forming healthy eating habits and exercising regularly to improve your mood
- Involving your loved ones in your journey by educating them on bipolar disorder and asking them to be a source of support during challenging times
We take a comprehensive approach to treating bipolar disorder by using a wide range of therapies. You can take the time to learn strategies for coping under the guidance of our team of experts in a warm, welcoming environment.
At Signature Psychiatric Hospital, we provide our patients with individualized treatment plans based on their specific needs. These plans may include:
- Basic medical care
- Medication management services
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
Why Choose Our Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center
At Signature Psychiatric Hospital, we offer a safe, secure environment where you can build a sturdy foundation for healing. Our multidisciplinary team can provide valuable support as you learn how to manage bipolar disorder symptoms.
We understand that seeking treatment can be difficult, and we are committed to providing a seamless admissions process. If you are experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, we encourage you to reach out to our team and begin your journey to healing. Our staff is ready to help you find the appropriate treatment for your specific needs.
We place great value on aftercare and begin planning for your discharge at the time of admission. Our goal is not simply to treat your symptoms but to set you up for long-term success. Your aftercare plan can ensure that you have the support you need to continue achieving goals after your initial treatment.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Signature Psychiatric Hospital.